In a stunning turn of events, Air Force made a brilliant second half comeback to squeeze in with a 16-11 win against fancied CR&FC in a Club Rugby League Championship played at Longdon Place yesterday. Travelling to Torrington from Ratmalana, the Airmen had ambitious intentions from the word go, as they counterattacked each move made and scoring done by the hosting side.
Yet, it was CR who led the halftime by a slender margin of a single point (11-10) and they were totally outsmarted after the resumption by Air Force.
Air Force scored off a converted try and four penalties against CR’s solitary try and two penalties, that all came in during the first half of the game. CR could have pulled off a close win, had they maintained discipline after the turnaround, which eventually cost them in giving away four penalties to their opponents.
However, all looked well when CR opened scoring in the fifth minute off fullback Gemunu Chethiya, a try that went without a conversion but three minutes on lock Ravindu Hettiarachchi equalised and scrumhalf Nuwan Perera’s conversion put them in the lead by 8-5.
Skipper and scrumhalf Kavindu de Costa fired off two penalties in the 20th and 27th minute, after the Airmen displayed some scrappy responses, as CR regained the lead by 11-8. The deficit was narrowed down to 11-10 with a penalty put over by Airman Perera.
After the turnaround the battle was totally mental, instead of physical, with the Airmen forcing CR to commit errors and tempting them to fall into their mind games. However both sides failed to cross each other’s line, with CR making quick amendments to their mishaps.
Nevertheless, CR fell short of smartness at three occasions in a phase of 20 minutes during second half, awarding three penalties, which Perera put over with ease and helping his side pull off a giant kill.
THE SUNDAY TIMES.
Sunday, January 30, 2022